BABCP webinars May 2022
‘Getting ready to do trauma-focused therapy with refugees and asylum seekers
with PTSD – what you need to know, consider and do’ and ‘Adapting traumafocused
therapy to work with refugees and asylum seekers with PTSD’. with
Kerry Young and Sam Akbar.

I was interested in developing my knowledge of working with this population as I recently
received a few referrals who were refugees presenting with PTSD, major depression, GAD and
health anxiety.

I learnt about the challenges of language barriers, cultural, religious and political differences
which need to be taken into account whilst working with the refugees or asylum seekers.
I also learnt how to work effectively in collaboration with the client’s interpreter.

Further on I was introduced in a greater detail to the asylum system, common mental health
issues of asylum seekers, planning and offering treatment options which often need to be
more creative and visual rather than verbal. Essentially helping the client to make
an informed choice about treatment.

The second part of the webinar taught me how to identify which trauma memories to work
on as the main priority. Adapting trauma-focused CBT for refugees, working with themes
common in trauma work and associated emotions: shame, guilt, contamination (other meta
emotions also possible e.g. anger, loss). I observed role plays on imagery re-scripting and reframing
as a stand alone treatment.

An importance of the therapist self-care due to obvious emotional and often upsetting
disclosures was also stressed and discussed in Q&A.

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